tv [untitled] October 17, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
really urge that you implement this plan. thank you for your consideration. >> chairman nolan: thank you. next speaker please. >> richard borgman, dean heartily, lawrence lee. >> good afternoon. i'm a local resident as well in the -- neighborhood. i'm a user of fell and oak as a pedestrian, often walking my dog, ago a cyclist and driver. i fully support the proposal to improve the fell-oak bicycle provisions. i'm a relatively experienced cyclist, cycling for 20 years from london, as you can hear from my accent i'm from the u.k. even with that experience fell and oak streets are stressful. traffic flies along past the limit. i've never seen sfpd stopping cars, inches away from cyclists. some drivers yell at cyclists even when they're in the bike lane. it's an accident waiting to happen. experienced cyclists like myself to less experienced cyclists is
a barrier between the panhandle and wiggle, people wanting to cross the city to get to work, see their friends or whatever. my girlfriend for example would love to bike to work downtown but it is currently -- by the status of fell and oak. as a pedestrian fell and oak are unpleasant and feel dangerous. traffic calming would be welcome, i also think it will bring more people to the neighborhood and make things pleasant. as a driver i also support it. removing parking spots will improve safety forever hundreds of people every day and will help transform the neighborhood into one fit for neighborhoods and visitors alike to enjoy. for local businesses concerned about parking, valencia street highlights vast improvements which can be made by a project like this. thank you. >> chairman nolan: next speaker. >> dean heartily, lawrence lee, ben or bev lyon.
>> good afternoon, mr. chairman, members of the board, my name is dean heartily from the inner sunset. i ride a bicycle, and a transit rider and a motorist. those three blocks of fell street are terrifying. with an additional two to three minutes of time cyclists can trade those terrifying three blocks with relative quiet ab serenity of nearby side streets that run parallel to the panhandle corridor. mta statistics show the vast majority of cyclists decline to take advantage of this opportunity. let's be clear. cyclists say they value safety and ver inity but not at the expense of their own time, energy or convenience. instead these brave, danger-tolerant bikers come to you and demand that the visitors to and residents of nopa and
haight sacrifice their time, energy and convenience on behalf of some marginal improvements to the bikeway, and marginal is very accurate when applied to the eastbound direction. when you vote in favor of this proposal you will be forcing one group of residents to make sacrifices on behalf of another group of residents who, when given the opportunity, refuse to make any such sacrifices on their own behalf, and the people of san francisco will see that their mta considers this to be fair and good. i thank the people of the haight for treating me so kindly as i pedal through your neighborhood. as you drive around and around blocks, burning gallons of gasoline in search of scarcer parking spaces please remember that not all cyclists wanted or needed to air gait your territory. please accept my gratitude and after the vote is taken my
condolences. >> lee, van -- mark dresser. >> my name is lawrence lee, i serve on the board of lower haight merchants and neighbors association. i want to thank mr. montoya and mta staff for the number of public workshops and the ownch that waoutreach done for this p. it was impressive. we met on saturdays and evenings at the san francisco day school and the community and the workshops spanned several hours, making it super convenient for members of the community to attend. the workshops helped members of the public and myself kind of understand the various needs, it defined them. we were able to give feedback on the approach to the problem-solving. we were able to understand the range of solutions. and we were able to provide feedback to all the various solutions and designs.
it helped us understand the drawbacks to the various proposals. and the absolute need to balance the -- all the numbers of needs that were presented to us. there was discussion, there were videos, there were stations that focused on individual issues. and so i'd like to thank the mta staff for involving the community, particularly the lower haight where i live. and it's a neighborhood that depends on transit, bicycle, and pedestrian location -- connection. also, personally, i do live on the path east of the project area. so i appreciate this effort. many of our members of our organization were able to attend and our board and land use committee were heavily updated and involved. so again, thank you. we are pleased with the outcome, especially how it balances the needs of the community, and how the whole process heard
everyone. so thank you. >> chairman nolan: thank you. next speaker please. >> bev or ben ly lyon, mark dresser, michael borden. >> good afternoon. as you've heard already from one of the speakers there are alternatives to riding your bicycle up and down fell and oak. i don't ride my bicycle up and down oak street, and i avoid fell. i use page, i use hayes. what you're doing here is balancing a matter of convenience for bicyclists to the extreme inconvenience of the neighborhood. the neighborhood has been making many, many objections. we've got problems that have been voiced by the elderly, by the infirmed, by the handicapped. we've had complaints by the businesses, by the churches. most everybody that you speak to in the neighborhood is opposed
to this project. and a lot of it boils around the issue of taking away, you know, parking or doing something which is changing the current conditions to make it much more difficult and in some people's perk unsafe for them. let me say something about oak street. i think that's really an interesting thing to notice. people that use oak street bomb down that hill. they go very fast. i've witnessed so many incidents where they blow through that stop sign at divisadero and oak. i had to grab one of my friends at the last minute pulling her away too safety when the in the middle of the night at 8 pm people were bombing down the street i grabbed her and pulled her away. i want to make one last quick comment because i know i have quite a few. i do think that mr. montoya did
hit on something though. if it is a necessity to mix millions of drivers with all these bicyclists every year through these corridors, then controlling those intersections, using electronic, as he mentioned, giving lead time for these riders, will help tremendously. in fact if that's done -- and these people are bicycling without -- >> chairman nolan: thank you. >> there's no need for a bicycle lane. >> chairman nolan: next speaker. >> mark dresser, michael bordon, neel patel. >> good afternoon, members and chair of the board. thank you for this opportunity to share my a project that i fully support as outlined earlier today. this is the first that i've spoken at a hearing of this kind and i do so today because i believe this is a critical project for san francisco that
will directly -- for me, san francisco has been a beacon of hope, a source of inspiration in a place that has shown the rest of the world what a great city can be. as a gay teenager growing up in the south, struggling to accept myself in a place that was not supportive san francisco offered me hope and made me realize there would be a place for me in the world as a gay man. studying in our city's great university ucsf inspired me to dead cat my research. today san francisco and its institutions continue to inspire me. in a world grabingly with global warming i'm inspired to make san francisco the city with the highest per capita bicycle use and have a bicycle network that is safe and convenient for everyone. i am inspired by this vision but also deeply concerned.
i worry for the safety of friends and family and my own safety whenever we ride our bikes in the city. despite progress that has been made installing new bike lanes we have had too many close calls with cars and recently a friend was hit by a car as he was biking to work. it still feels unsafe to ride a bike in san francisco and few places are as dangerous as oak and fell. i fully support this proposal and hope that you will as well. thank you. >> chairman nolan: thank you. next speaker. >> michael bordon, neel patel. is mike detail borden here? neel patel followed by. >> my name is neel patel community planner with the san francisco bicycle coalition and on behalf of our 12,000 members i enthusiastically support this project. i'm proud to be here today, one,
i'm proud to have been a part of the community planning process for this project. i don't think i've seen a process that for only six blocks has reached hundreds of thousands of people, dozens of business owners, multiple times over one year process of this project. i'm proud to be a san franciscan and a city that develops proposals that prioritize the safety of people walking and biking. i hear a lot of stories from people who love biking in san francisco and due to your work, your agency's work we hear a lot more of those stories. but there always the but president the but i hear most is i hate biking on fell and oak between scott and baik. i hear it more than any other street in san francisco. so you've all received the over 350 letters of support from various individuals, 18 letters of support from people who work at businesses in this corridor. i think all these people, you know, they all ride bikes but
they all have something else in common. they're terrified of biking in this area. i've been touched to hear stories of people who live on these intersections, mothers trying to bike their kids to school more and they feel that this area is too unsafe. id like to ask for a show of hands of people here who come to support this project, if you could just raise your hands. i know that in the interest of time not every single one of them will speak today but i wanted to make sure you knew that they're out there. and in closing i'd like to say that your agency has put forth pretty ambitious goals for getting the number of people biking, walking, and using transit up in san francisco. and that goal is pretty contingent on the approval of projects like this. so thank you so much. >> chairman nolan: next speaker please. >> fred tra heeio, mark brennan,
susan king. >> supervisor mar: good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon. my name is fred tra heeio, i live on fell street, have a car, no garage, and am handicapped. i am very much against removing the parking spaces on fell street. there is no justifiable reason for removing those parking spaces on fell street for a bike lane when there is already a bike lane there. parking is very precious in this neighborhood. the bike coalition is very powerful but not always right. look at john f. kennedy drive, what a mess that is with a new bike lane there. it was fine until they ruined it. in other words don't fix it if it's not broke. what i would like to see is more enforcement of bike riding on sidewalks. that's why i'm handicapped. it happened three years ago while walking on fell street and
was hit by a bicyclist. that bicyclist shattered my hip and had to have a hip transplant five months later. i now walk with a cane. thank you. go giants. >> mark brennan, susan king, morgan fits gibbons. >> my name is mark brannan. i am against this proposal. i live in district five not far from the affected area and work on the corner of oak and divisadero. primary reason is obviously the loss of parking. new lights will make it more difficult to get across the city and frankly there is already a designated bike lanes on hayes and page which is safer for everyone involved. this plan calls for widening sidewalks at several intersections for pedestrian safety yet according to mta's
own data in the last five years on fell street in the affected areas there were four accidents, pedestrian-vehicle accidents, three of which were pedestrian right of way. so it was the pedestrian fault. on oak street, 10 such accidents between pedestrian and vehicles, half were pedestrian right of way violations. mta's own 2008 bicycle collision data state that half of all accidents between bicycles and pedestrians are caused by bicyclists. businesses will be hurt on the corner of oak and divisadero, there is a laundromat, paints, there's civil rides, which is a taxi service for the elderly who have a number of vehicles who will be affected by this, their residents and employees, these people will be affected. i am a life long resident of san francisco, went to school in the inner sunset. when i was a kid i never had any
problem riding my bike in san francisco. it seems the reason things are getting more dangerous is because of bicyclists taking more risk. thank you very much. >> chairman nolan: next speaker please. >> susan king, morgan fits gibbons, jerry greenstein. >> hi, directors. thank you for holding this hearing and thank you for your good work in researching this proposed development very thoroughly. i'm here to speak out in favor of this bike path. i'm a 23 year resident of the haight. i ride this route every day, rain or shine, winter, summer, year round. i'm one of thousands of people who ride our bicycles to get to where we need to go. and having safe and logical pathways to and from downtown, through the district, is really
important. a couple of things i wanted to point out, one is there's been a lot of talk about the loss of parking. this is an area that does not have a residential parking permit, and it should. because i was reading about the studies that were done that show over 50% of the cars that are parknd this area are not registered in san francisco. so that means it is an area that people come to park in from other areas. meanwhile, the people who are riding their bikes on these streets tend to be people who live here and work here, and so we are -- we're being asked to compromise our safety so people from other areas can come and park for free in the neighborhood. that's one potential solution. the other really important issue is we have a lot of people who ride bikes sa lot of tourists and i see them as they're
spinning through our neighborhoods. these people are tourists. tourists is a big industry, people who come to san francisco and appreciate -- they contribute to the economy and it's important that people who visit here have a safe and pleasant experience. i see a lot of people riding through the panhandle so this does make good business sense as well as promote bicycle safety. >> morgan fits gibbons, jerry greenstein, jeffrey. >> my name is morgan fits gibbons i run a neighborhood group called the wake party we want to make our neighborhood more sustainable around the wiggle. so i represent hundreds of people who live in the neighborhood who use the wiggle every day, use fell and oak every day and we enthusiastically support this project. i could talk about the importance of prioritizing the safety of thousands of bicyclists every day, over 55 parked cars. i could talk about the incredibly involved community
process that the community has gone through to birth this plan and big thanks to the entire sfmta staff. please give him a raise. i could talk about the well documented benefits both social and economic to areas that see these kind of bike projects implemented despite uninformed claims of many people in the room today, this is well documented, it will be great for businesses in the neighborhood. i could also talk about how building a safe protected bike lane and bike infrastructure around the city will actually free up far more than the 55 parking spots that we're losing as well as decongest muni and improve transit situation as a whole. who i want to talk about the bigger picture. i want to acknowledge the reality that we as a city and the planet face a world with climate change, peak oil, economic collapse of a number of planetary crisis and point out
the responsibility that we have to move these projects for and we have a special responsibility here in san francisco as another commenter noted we are a beacon not only to america but to the rest of the world. and right now we are being left by cities like chicago, new york, minneapolis, portland in this bike improvement situation. and so i just want to impress upon you your unique responsibility as people who have the the power to fix this situation to again keep san francisco as a beacon to the rest of the world to overcome these huge challenges. thank you very much. >> chairman nolan: thank you. >> -- steve -- terry rolleri. >> i didn't know we were saving the planet. i live at fell and broderick. my name is jerry greenstein. i ride my bicycle on the fell street bike lane. i've never felt terrorized.
i don't know where it's coming from. i think that oak street should have a bike lane like fell. oak is very dangerous. there's no telling whether the bike is going to go on the right or the left. but i think the fell street bike lane is adequate. a second bike lane, i don't understand how it would get swept out. at least our current street sweepers i don't think could get in there. if it fills up with refuse, and there's a lot of refuse around the neighborhood that gets swept up, i don't think the bicyclists should ride in it. that's pretty much all i want to say except in terms of pedestrian safety, the hazard is that there are so many people riding bicycles on the sidewalk. and we need some signs to keep them off. that's all. thank you for listening. >> chairman nolan: next speaker please. >> steven zavtoski, terry and
ms. doyle. >> thank you for the time and opportunity to speak to you, i am a professor at the universities of san francisco in environmental studies and i serve as sustainability director at college of arts and sciences. in that capacity one of the projects i've been spearheading is to improve infrastructure amenities for bicyclists on our campus. we're seen the number of bicyclists grow and we feel we can increase that growth even more. it will help us meet some of our goals. we have a parking crunch around our campus. it will also help us meet the city's goal of of 20% by 2020. we did a survey last fall and we found when asked why people chose not to ride their bike to campus there were three primary reasons. first was theft, concerned about bikes being stolen. we will build covered secured
parking on campus. second was safety, fear of riding in city traffic, especially -- on fell and oak, the major arteries that people have to ride or cross to get to campus. the third reason was hills. we know the wiggle addresses that. we're trying to address the theft issue on our campus. but the safety issue is one that you can really help us with. last -- a month ago we had a orientation and many parents were bringing students to campus. i was out tabling and chairing with parents what we're trying to do with supporting students bicycling to and from campus. painchts raised concern about safety of their children, didn't feel safe allowing children to have bicycles on our campus. i think again by taking this step and moving forward with it i think what is an amazing project and one that's been carried out with very impressive levels of community involvement you can help us allay some of those concerns of parents. thank you for your time.
>> terry o'leary, -- doyle, will barkus. >> good afternoon. my name is terry, i'm a homeowner from the richmond, here in support of this proposal. first thing i'd like to address is the loss of parking. as a homeowner i am required by city codes to maintain one parking space and my garage added 20% to the cost of my house. so i pay for parking, even though i don't own a car. so i don't have a lot of sympathy for people who complain about the loss of free parking. the other issue i'd like to bring up is safety. there are thousands of people riding on this street every day. and the alternative, some people have said the alternatives are haight and page. page has a huge steep hill going west from divisadero. ever since the bike lane was put on fell, i've never ridden on page ever again. i'm 60 years old. i'm not going to -- you know,
i'm not going to ride a heavy loaded bicycle full of groceries up a steep hill if i have an alternative. so i really think -- i've been riding a bicycle for about 42 years, since i was 19. i'm going to be 61 soon. and i know that that bike lane on fell is not safe. if a car door -- if someone were to open the passenger door, that door takes up nearly the entire bike lane and would knock someone into traffic. so we need a wider lane, it's not safe. i don't think we can continue to put the lives of thousands of people at risk for the convenience of parking. i think that's all. thank you. >> chairman nolan: thanks you. next speaker. >> -- doyle, will barkus, esther gallagher. >> good afternoon. my name is fenel doyle. i would like to make sure we're thankful because the main issue is being safety.
there are so many accidents at these intersections it's scary to be a local resident. i live on divisadero above a day care. every day i see women walking with their toddlers in their strollers. this neighborhood is residential and also mixed use. i love riding my bike in san francisco. i think rts frpt for us to meet that goal of having one continuous bike lane in the city. i'm upset that the project has been delayed and delayed and delayed and forgetting that this is a public safety issue. i was hit by a car in november, a reckless drive. i have a titanium leg. i'm healthy, it's fun, and i encourage everyone to do it. that gentleman who is 61 years old he looks so healthy. he's been riding his bike. it's the polluters in the neighborhoods that you're listening to. these people are driving cars and polluting the neighborhood. it's visually disgusting.
it's contributing to all of the air pollution in the area. and it's also visually disgusting. so i would love to have this board make a decision that is promoting low polluters, people who are making healthier decisions for the city and also making it safer for families who live in the neighborhood. i'm also part of the wig party and would love to celebrate the initiatives at the an twerp, vean,, paris, amsterdam have taken to make sure pedestrians and citizens are well taken care of and live in a safe place where they can walk and do not need to have a car in order to get from point a to point b that's less than a mile away. this is a really crucial decision so i thank everyone who's been working hard on this project. it looks like a beautiful proposal and i fully endorse it. >> chairman nolan: thank you. >> and i think it would help with visibility of the crosswalks and piewt fi beaut ce
neighborhood. >> are any of these folks here? >> will barkus, esther gallagher, lisa elliott, are any of those people here? >> good afternoon. well, i've lived in san francisco for 20 years, and i've been bicycling the whole time. i work as a postpartum -- and takes me to all parts of the city to my clients houses. i currently am in excellent health and i use page street. the reason i use page street is because where i have to get from scott, past divisadero, there's the gas station, and cars -- car drivers are crazy nuts. they don't care. they're going to get their gas. so i avoid the wig -- or i avoid fell street at the moment but i'm getting older. there will come a time when i
don't want to or can't ride up that hill. and let's just be clear, it's only a matter of time before most of those cars won't be going down fell street because nobody will be driving cars. and we'll be taking all the lanes. so there's no point in loll gagging on this proposal. it's only a small step in the right direction from my point of view. but it's the right step. thanks very much. >> chairman nolan: next speaker please. >> lisa ruth elliott. is will barkus -- j.j. strolly, michael smithwick. >> hi, everyone. i'm a resident of the upper haight, i codirector a history project in the city, i work in a bike shop and been bicycling sin